Back in Newcastle, we arrived late. Exhausted. It was raining. We wanted to fall into bed but immediately noticed there was no electrical power to the boat. As I am processing this, the awareness that no power meant no fridge or freezer hit me. As Frank raced out to the power unit on the dock, I opened the freezer lid to find its contents swimming, ruined. Oh no, this did not happen. I braced myself as I opened the refrigerator for the inevitable unpleasant and disgusting results. It was so, so bad. Some time during our absence our power plug had shorted and blown at the box. While Frank rewired the plug I dove into the sickening task of emptying the contents of fridge and freezer, lamenting the loss of literally hundreds of dollars worth of food. Because of what I'd found growing in there I spent hours cleaning and sanitizing both boxes. The next day Frank spoke to Howard the marina manager, who told him it had rained and stormed nearly every day that we had been gone. He had no idea that our power had blown. None of us had a clue as to how long it had been out, although at this point it didn't really matter.
Obviously we hit the grocery store the next day and then made arrangements for Destiny to be hauled out for a bottom cleaning. We also arranged for some zipper and canvas repairs to a few ripped and worn spots that were appearing on the dodger and bimini. We are praying that the canvas, sails and rigging will remain intact until we reach Thailand at the end of 2012. We have been in so many incidents of high winds and rough weather it is time for replacements.
Rain, rain and more rain tormented us. Pauline phoned telling me she was up the coast at Boomerang and would try to arrange a stop at Newcastle on her way back to Sydney. I begged her to make it happen. She arrived on Friday, picked me up and we set off for town and a Girl Day. We started with coffee and a catch-up, followed by some serious window-shopping and lunch on Darby St. We ended the afternoon picking up new deck chairs for Destiny before returning to pick up Frank for dinner. We drove back over to Darby Street where we met two of Pauline's good friends and former colleagues, Reece and Rosemary Delaney at the ever-popular restaurant, Goldberg's. Pauline stayed the night with The Delaneys, and early the next morning they picked us up for a trip to the Newcastle Farmers Markets where we shopped and ate to our hearts delight. Afterward, Frank had some work to do, installing our new horn and I was committed to finishing the laundry that had been sitting since before we flew home. Rosemary insisted that I bring the washing to her house, while Reese helped Frank wire the horn. Pauline opted for a nap. We enjoyed a nice afternoon and ended up staying on for dinner. At the end of the night Pauline was itching to get on the road back home, so she ran us back to the marina before setting off for the drive home.
Frank and Reese had toyed with the idea of playing around of golf, but the weather just never gave us a break. We finally got hauled out on the 16th. The hull was high-pressure washed, and then some electronic bits were installed that had to be done with the boat out of the water. We splashed just a few hours later and then on Thursday morning we rose early for the long journey back to Sydney.